When Mayor Kurt Schmoke tossed a suggestion into the air recently, a couple of city staff members reacted quicker than Michael Jordan and Karl Malone going for a rebound.
Thus was born the first Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke Holiday Basketball Tournament, set to tap off Dec. 27 at Lake Clifton/Eastern High School.
"The mayor asked for cooperative ventures to reduce duplication of services and that's how it all came about," said Lloyd Mitchner, director of Urban Services Agency, who organized it with Marlyn J. Perritt, director of the Bureau of Recreation.
"It's geared toward the average kids, not the high school basketball players," said Bob Wade of the Bureau of Recreation. He'll serve as tournament coordinator along with Cleveland Brister of the Urban Services Agency.
The tournament will sign up 48 teams (12 players each): boys 10-12, boys and girls 12-14, boys 14-16, and men and women unlimited. Games will start Dec. 27 and go for four days, culminating with the Dec. 30 championships, to be televised on city cable television (Ch. 44). Deadline for entries ($35 for youth teams, $75 for unlimited) is Dec. 14. All players will receive T-shirts and winners will receive trophies.
Teams and/or organizations interested in participating must call 396-7410 or 396-0290 to receive applications. They also may register at 2600 Madison Ave. between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. or at 610 N. Central Ave. between 4 and 7 p.m.